Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jingle bells! Jingle bells!...yum yum...yum yum yum!!

...Oh what fun it is to munch on lovely christmas yums.... :D
Christmas time is time for cookies. Do you agree or do you agree?
Yes, you do. Of course, you do!
So, here are two recipes which I had selected which were gluten and dairy free too and still so perfect for Christmas! Sunny boy's favorite is the almond cinnamon stars and mine coconut macaroons, and hubby's BOTH! I just hope they last till Christmas. maybe I need to make another round of cookies. I already have two more cookie recipes to post about, though.

Before I give you the recipes let me tell you why I choose these two recipes, apart from the reasons of their being gluten and dairy free. I love coconut in any form. Although, I know about this recipe of coconut macaroons since long, I had not tried making them until now. So, now with Christmas coming I had to hurry up with my Christmas baking. Here are two recipe I chose to start with. One is, as already mentioned, the coconut macaroons and the other is a very popular Christmas cookie here and is practically a must at Christmas time and children and adults alike love these "Zimtsterne".
These are two gluten and diary free recipes and the best thing about it is that I didn't have to make any substitutions as these neither require flours nor any milk products. Although there are many different recipes for"Zimtsterne" available, so I was very happy with this one. But, in these recipes you couldn't do without eggs, I would think. But, hey, who knows maybe you expert bakers out there know about that too. I would love to hear it, if you know something more than me.

So, here are the recipes....

Zimtsterne (Almond cinnamon stars)


Based on the Book: Dr. Oetker's Weihnachts Bäckerei (Dr. Oetker Verlag)

Ingredients:

4 egg whites (make sure that no traces of egg yolk are there, otherwise the egg white will not become stiff)
250 g powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
50-100 g sugar for rolling the dough
1 packet vanilla sugar (or 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
3 drops bitter almond aroma (I left it out)
1 level tsp ground cinnamon
350 - 400 g almond meal (ground with skin) - depends on the size of the eggs (I required 400 g for medium sized eggs)

Method:

  • beat egg whites in a deep clean and fat-free bowl until a knife cuts in the stiff froth remain visible (another test: invert the bowl and the stiff froth will not fall off)
  • slowly add powdered sugar to the egg white while beating (1 spoon at a time, once it is incorporated, add more)
  • !! remove about 3-4 tablespoons of meringue in a clean fat free bowl, for coating the tops later
  • add vanilla essence to the remaining and fold in spoonfuls of almond meal into the meringue until it is not sticky anymore and makes a nice ball
  • place the ball on a clean surface sprinkled generously with powdered sugar
  • roll it out with a rolling pin, using some powdered sugar on top in between
  • cut out stars or any desired shape with cookie cutters
  • place baking paper sheets on two baking trays and place the cookies on them
  • coat each cookie with little meringue using a spoon
  • bake in oven for 20-30 minutes at:
    • 130-150°C (preheated)
    • convection: 120°C (preheated)
    • gas: position 1 (preheated)
  • the cookies will still be soft at the base when you take them out of the oven

Coconut macaroons


Recipe from Huettenhilfe.de

Ingredients:
4 egg whites, free from any traces of egg yolks
200 g sugar, fine grained (or use confectioners sugar)
200 g grated dessicated coconut
45-50 round paper thin (rice) wafers*, about 1" in diameter (communion wafers, called Oblate in German)

Method:

  • beat egg whites in a deep clean and fat-free bowl until a knife cut in the stiff froth remain visible (another test: invert the bowl and the stiff froth will not fall off)
  • slowly add sugar to the egg white while beating (1 spoon at a time, once it is incorporated, add more)
  • fold in grated coconut into the meringue with a spatula
  • place baking paper sheets on two baking trays and place the rice wafers on them
  • take about one spoonful of the meringue and carefully from a round or oval shape with two spoons
  • place on one wafer with a spoon, pressing it down gently to spread it over the wafer
  • repeat for all the wafers or till the meringue is used up
  • bake in oven for 20-30 minutes at:
    • 130-150°C (preheated)
    • convection: 120°C (preheated)
    • gas: position 1 (preheated)
* TIP: use a well greased baking paper sheet or simply grease the baking tray properly as these are very sticky, if no such communion wafers are available.

Since I feel these fit so well to this months theme of Food In Colours : White, an event started by Sunshinemom of Tongueticklers and being hosted this time by Lubna Karim at Yummy Food, I'm sending these yummy cookies over to Lubna.
And these also go to Vandana's event Baking for Beginners at her blog Cooking up Something Nice.

Similar recipes:
Cinnamon stars at Meeta's WFLH

Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars)

11 comments:

Priya said...

Woww wat an awesome work PG...gorgeous Macaroons, its in my baking list since long...ALmond stars are simply fabulous..

Soma said...

That was a cute post:-)

Lovely stars & macaroons. The season does put us in mood, doesn't it?

anudivya said...

Hey PG, star cookies look cute, and I love the macaroons too (I got to make them, been a while!)

And yeah, I will post an Adai recipe for you soon :)

aparna said...

Cookies are my favourite. Both looks so awesome.

Maggie said...

Both recipes look wonderful! I can't agree more that Christmas time is time for cookies. I've just gotten started making mine.

My mother made fluffy coconut macaroons a few years ago and I loved them. I have to see if I can find the rice wafers to try your recipe. It sounds like a great addition.

Alka said...

cookies look cute :-)

Curry Leaf said...

Love it PG,I have been wanting to make zisterne-vegan version obviously,but egg white substitute? I am searching.Lovely entry.I wish I could have these..Pass it over please..

Sunshinemom said...

I searched google the other day for a meringue substitute - I think there is only one and it is available as a product off the shelf and not a recipe! In fact I have started making an egg recipe a month for my children as they miss them a lot!

I love your cookies but my vote goes for the coconut macaroons - they are simply put - just perfect!

sowmya said...

both of them look great..especially the macaroons..

Red Chillies said...

Love anything that has coconut and so I am like you PG. Happy Holidays to oyu and your family PG.

Btw, I found this link :http://www.heythattastesgood.com/2008/12/seven-layer-cookies.html

Anytime I see gluten-free mentioned I think of you, girl!

PG said...

RC, thanks a lot! I'm touched. :)